So, we kind of have a lot going on, the four of us. It would be easy to dwell on all the medical stuff and the day to day ups and downs of preemie-land. Instead, during our long hours in the NICU, I find myself fantasizing about fatherhood. It’s starting to sink in a little more each day. I read a number of books on being an expectant father, and let me tell you, none of them prepared me for this. I am now a lot more reflective of my own childhood because it will probably be more relevant than any book I will read.
When I am not completely stressed about my two beautiful babies, I start thinking about events from my childhood and how I would respond to these same situations as a father. One very clear event happened after my father said “out of my chair” for what seemed like the 1 millionth time. Now, all I think about is, will I say that to my girls? I have a chair that I am slightly protective of. I like the way it feels. No Sara, I don’t want you to put a blanket on the head of the chair. No, I don’t want you to move it to the sun room because it looks better. I really like it how it is and where it is. Yes I have thought about asking Sara to move from the chair I like to sit in, but let’s be honest–we all know how that conversation would end. Anyway, I remember at 14 saying to my dad, “When I have kids I will never make them get up out of a chair.” I also distinctly remember him saying, “Yes you will” and me saying “No I will not!” I also remember him saying, “Do you wanna bet?” and me saying, “Duh, yes!” 35 year-old Nick is screaming “Don’t do it!” Luckily for me I have forgotten how much the bet was for. Also luckily for me, my Dad has almost certainly forgotten as well. I know this because my dad frequently forgets things with any significance. My dad has an amazing memory for random trivia. He’s honestly one of the smartest people I know. But somehow my dad called most of my childhood friends by the name of Brett Bujgan. I played on the same baseball team with Brett for a couple of seasons. Nice guy, but he wasn’t a close friend at all. I never spent a night at his house. No movies, no trading of baseball cards, nothing. Yet, anytime I spoke of a friend as a child or reminisce about a childhood friend as an adult, my father repeatedly says, “Oh yeah, Brett Bujgan.” Oddly enough, my brother Phil, who was two grades younger than me, had the same problem. He called all of my brother’s friends Brett Bujgan, too. Anyway, I love you dad, but I was never talking about Brett Bujgan.
Wow. I kind of got off on a tangent, but it was good therapy. I feel so much better. The take away from this therapy session? Learn the names of my children’s friends. This is easy, as they haven’t had any NICU mixers yet. Apparently that happens next week. I will be watching the breast milk bowl as little Noah, a few rooms down the hall, lives on the wild side. He’s a red head and is showing early signs of ADHD. Looks like trouble, and he will not be escorting either one of my girls. This is a warning to all of my other friends’ children, too. Tucker, Charlie, Will, Joe, Lucian, Ben… not gonna happen, so don’t even think about it.
Speaking of ADHD, this post is showing signs that I may also need some meds. Back to my main point. What should I do about my chair? My dad always said, “When you pay the bills you can have your own chair.” So now that I do pay the bills, does that justify saying, “Out of my chair?” Should this cycle continue? Wow, this post got ridiculous really fast. It’s obvious that I have at least 7 years before Bryn and Nora will even want to sit down. Whew, problem averted for now.
Okay, somehow I need to pull all of this together. I am beginning to learn that nothing is completely easy about being a dad. I must be ahead of the curve after figuring that out after only a week?? My girls are not always going to say, “Yes, daddy.” I will need to try and stay reasonable and listen to them, even when this cute girl with a bow in her hair is 16 and raging with hormones.
I pray to God that when I see her sitting in my chair, that I don’t immediately say, “Out of my chair.” I will first explain why she needs to get out of my chair, listen to her tell me why she doesn’t want to get out of my chair, and then say, “I’m sorry, but out of my chair.” Well done Dad. You win! I think I owe you 50 cents.